From now on in this review, if I say TI-84 I am referringto the TI-84 Plus CE.
As I brieflymentioned before one of the big advantages the TI-84 has when it comes to usability is the fact that it has become so common in classrooms and other places. If you went to high school in the last 20 years and took any sort of math, it is likely that you used a TI-84 before. It is, of course, possible that you haven't used one of these calculatorsbefore. If that is the case and you are a student, surely one of your teachers (or peers) would be able to tell you how to do whatever it is you are trying to do with this calculator. If you are not a student, there are tons of online recourses (including this website) that can teach you how to use this calculator.
The TI-nspire hasn't been around for as long and isn't nearly as widely used as the TI-84. You will probably be able to find out how to do whatever it is you need to do on the TI-nspire, but it may take a little more digging and/or experimenting. Another factor is that the operating system on all TI-84 calculators hasn't changed much over the years whereas the nspire's has changed a considerable amount.
When you turn on the TI-nspire, you are greeted with a screen full of menus that you can select to start doing different tasks. When you turn on the TI-84, on the other hand, you are greeted with the familiarcalculator screen ready for you to start making calculations. (TI-nspire on the left in the image below, TI-84 Plus CE on the right)
In general, the nspire is a lot more confusing to get to know how to use. This is partly because of all the features it has and partly because of all the different menus it has. If you are looking for a specificfeature you will probably have to dig around in menus a bit more on the TI-nspire than you would on the TI-84. On the TI-84 Plus CE if you are looking for a specificfunction chances are you will be able to access that function by pressing one button and maybethen having to scroll left or right or up or down.
I'll refer to the imagebelow as an example. If you want to do something as simple as evaluating the sine of an angle on the nspire you will have to open up a name by pressing the"trig" button and then scrolling to the function you want and then pressing[enter] to select it. Whereas the TI-84 has its own dedicated trig buttons that will do something like bring up sin( with the press of just one button. However, as you might notice from the picture, the TI-nspire has selections for csc sec and cot.
Another thing that makes the usabilityof the TI-nspire less smooth is the way that the user interface is set up. If you want to perform a task outside of calculations, in most cases you will have to do that in a separate"document". For example, if you want to draw a shape in the geometry app you will have to create a geometry document. Creating the document doesn't involve that many extra steps. However, the document gets saved on to your calculator and you have to go in and delete it if you don't want things getting too cluttered up.
But you will probably be spending most of your time in the "Scratchpad" section of the calculator. This is where you can type in expressions like on any normal calculator without having to go through the whole document process. There is also a graphing section in the "Scratchpad" so don't worry about that being a hassle as well.
Overall the TI-nspire will take longer to figure out how to use, but you will have access to more features. Even so, the number of menus may be a deal breaker for some not because of the confusion it may cause but because it takes slightly more time to get to what you want. And if you are constantly having to press multiple buttons to access something as simple as a trig function, that time can add up and become annoying.
Usability goes to the TI-84 Plus CE.
As you've probably already guessed by this point in the review, the TI-nspire is the calculator that will be able to do the most impressive computing, and the TI-84 is the calculator that is user-friendly, trustworthy and convenient. But in this next part of the review, I hope to show you what these two devices are capable of and help you decide if putting up with some confusing UI is worth the extra features.
The Computer Algebra System (CAS)
This is probably the most exciting feature of the TI-nspire. The CAS means that the nspire is able to evaluate equations and expressions with variables, factor, and give exact simplified answers. To give you an idea of the kind of stuff this calculator can do I'll show you some screenshots below. I'll also say that if you had this calculator while taking an algebra 2 class, it would be able to do A LOT of the homework and tests for you. If you want a more detailed description of the capabilities of the TI-nspire, check out our full individual review.
Solving Algebra Equations...
Factoring or Expanding Expressions...
Simplifying Expressions... All answers will be given in exact simplified form unless you press[ctrl][enter] to get a decimal approximation like on a normal calculator.
What you see above is just the beginning of what the nspire can do in terms of calculation. The TI-84 Plus doesn't stand much of a chance when it comes to this category. It can't factor expressions, and it can solve for variables in specific cases. It also doesn't give you answers in exact form, It can't even simplify radicals (unless you use one of our TI-84 Programs). But The TI-84 is still more than enough to get you through high school and most college math/science classes. Texas Instruments designed the TI-84 for education, so it will have all the features you really need. If you want a more thorough look at the capabilities of the TI-84 Plus CE,check out our full individual review.
When it comes to these calculators doing other things besides just making calculations, The TI-nspire CX CAS has the TI-84 Plus CE beat here too. The nspire was designed to be more than just a great calculator, it was also designed to collect and store data. If you pair your nspire with products from Vernier it can become a data collection device for science classes. You can store and analyze the data in the "Vernier DataQuest" app already on the nspire.
Even If you don't plan to do any data collection, there are still some apps you might find useful. The Geometry app lets you draft complex or simple geometric shapes, as well as add live angle and length measurements.
There is also a fairly capable and usable spreadsheets app.
There is also an app for graphing data that you enter manually or collect through DataQuest.
And finally, there is a "Notes" app which is a basic text editor that can do a bit more than just store text.
The TI-84 Plus CE has much less to offer in this category. There is an "apps" button on the TI-84, which takes you to a simple list of 12 apps. These apps do things like graph conic sections and find roots, these.
This isn't a very well known part of the calculator meaning that not many people know these apps exist, so they don't use them. However, some of them can be pretty useful. Most of the things that the apps on the TI-84 do can already be done directly from the scratchpad on the TI-nspire.
So if you want to be able to do more complex calculation tasks, the TI-nspire is the better option, but not unless you want to create your own applications...
This is about the only place under capabilities that the TI-84 Plus CE pulls ahead of the Ti-nspire. The TI-84 has the best programming interface out ofall graphing calculators.The TI-84 allows you to create programs that can do things that you wouldn't normally be able to do on the TI-84. For example, the TI-84 doesn't simplify radicals, but we have a program on this website that you can download on to your TI-84 to give it the ability to simplify radicals.
You can also make games and other programs that take advantage of the "Draw" capabilities of the TI-84. Learning how to program the TI-84 is relatively easy, but it will take some time. The good thing is there are plenty of online recourses to help you figure it out. If you don't feel like learning how to program the TI-84 but you still want the extra functionality programs give you, you can always check out our programming page to download TI-84 programs for free.
The Texas Instruments website says that the nspire has programming capabilities, but we have found that they fall short when compared to the TI-84. When they say you can program the calculator they really mean that you can create simple functions. You are able to create simple functions that take in a few user inputs (just numbers) and then output an answer. This is somewhat useful especially if you have a simple task that you need to do over and over again. But it is less convenient than you might think because you cant access the programs from anywhere on the calculator like you can on the TI-84. You have to be in the same "calculator document" as the program, and you can't access the saved programs from the scratchpad.
Technically the two have the exact same screen resolution or 320 x 240, but the TI-nspire takes much better advantage of all the pixels. As you can see from the image below the expressions typed out on the nspire look much nicer and more like something you might see on a computer screen.
Both calculators also have a color display. This may seem unnecessary on a graphing calculator, but it's useful on the nspire to be able to differentiate between all the things that can be on the screen at the same time, like menus and different sections of apps. It's also especially nice for the graphing apps on both calculators. Having multiple lines graphed at once and quickly being able to tell what is what is very convenient.
Buttons and Controls
The button layout on the TI-84 is logical and most people will probably be familiar with it for two reasons. (A) it hasn't changed much over the last 20 years from other Texas Instruments calculators. (B) it is similar to most other Texas Instruments scientific calculators.
The button layout on the nspire, on the other hand, is very different and unlike most other calculators. At the top, you have a giant directional pad (which we'll talk about later) and all of the different control buttons like the menu, home, and escape buttons. In the middle, you have a number pad surrounded by a limited number of operation and function buttons. (This is because most of the extra functions and operations are selected via a menu,on screen, after pressing one of these buttons.) Then at the bottom, there is a keypad with all a button for each individual letter with some extra characters. This is convenient because there are a lot of functions that you need to type out in order for the calculator to do something like "solve" to solve an algebra equation.
You may notice that the keyboard isn't in QWERTY format even though it looks like it could be. We believe this is so that the College Board will still allow the calculator to be taken on the SAT* and other standardized tests. The College Board most likely made this rule so they would have test takers taking notes about the test during the standardized test because they could type faster with a QWERTY keyboard.
The TI-nspire does have an extra control feature that the TI-84 doesn't have and that is a trackpad and cursor. The cursor/trackpad work like one on a laptop and the trackpad is located on top of the large directional pad just below the screen (see image below). The trackpad works well enough, but don't expect the responsiveness of a MacBook. It might seem like the whole cursor thing is unnecessary, and it isn't totally necessary, you can do basically everything without it. Although it would be pretty hard to live without it in places like the geometry app.
Overall the TI-nspire CX CAS has an abundance of features and capabilities that will allow you to do much less work on paper, and even allow you to forget how to do some very advanced things like factoring. But all this comes at the cost of usability which is where the TI-84 Plus CE shines. Also, keep in mind that the nspire isn't allowed on the ACT* whereas the TI-84 is (both are allowed on the SAT*/PSAT*. (See the chart below for more on regulations.)
Technically the two have the exact same screen resolution or 320 x 240, but the TI-nspire takes much better advantage of all the pixels. As you can see from the image below the expressions typed out on the nspire look much nicer and more like something you might see on a computer screen.Is a TI-84 Plus CE better than an Nspire? ›
Technically the two have the exact same screen resolution or 320 x 240, but the TI-nspire takes much better advantage of all the pixels. As you can see from the image below the expressions typed out on the nspire look much nicer and more like something you might see on a computer screen.Can TI-Nspire do the same as TI-84? ›
In terms of features, they share most of the same apps and can do almost all of the same graphing functions. In many cases, it's a little easier to do the math on the TI-84 Plus CE because it doesn't have the same file storage system the Nspire series does.Is the TI-84 Plus CE good for college algebra? ›
Best Overall: Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE
It comes with all the functions you would expect from a top-tier calculator and more. It also comes with a backlit full-color screen, so you can easily use it in the dark. It also comes with a few helpful pre-programmed math applications.
Yes, in many instances teachers allow students to use TI graphing calculators on class tests. In fact, graphing calculators are permitted, or even required, on many college entrance exams and state exams.What is the most advanced TI calculator? ›
1. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Color Graphing Calculator – Best Overall. The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator is the perfect choice for math and science students. With its 480KB ROM, 24K RAM, and high-resolution, full-color backlit display, it provides a powerful and intuitive graphing experience ...Which calculator has the best CAS? ›
Best graphing calculator for college students
The Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS is one of the most advanced graphing calculators you'll find, so if your student doesn't have a need for advanced functions and geometric animations, go ahead and opt for something simpler.
Enduring Popularity. Another reason that the TI graphing calculator has remained popular is that students are still permitted to use models like the TI-84 when taking college board exams.Can a TI-Nspire be a financial calculator? ›
Finance Solver on your TI-nspire is a great tool for many different types of financial calculations including compound interest and repayment of loans. You'll learn how to use it in following examples.Is the TI-Nspire CX CAS allowed? ›
Standardized testing organizations have approved the TI-Nspire™ CX CAS graphing calculator for SAT®, AP® and PSAT/NMSQT® high-stakes exams.
- Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CXII CAS Color Graphing Calculator. ...
- Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator. ...
- Casio FX-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator. ...
- Sharp EL-W516TBSL 16 Digit Advanced Scientific Calculator. ...
- Texas Instrument TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator.
The TI-84 Plus CE stands out as a premium graphing calculator that you can rely on, boasting over a dozen built-in applications, including correct math notation, inequality graphing, and data collection. The TI-84 Plus CE comes with a rechargeable battery, removing the need for you to visit the store to buy batteries.What math is best for college? ›
Generally speaking, if you are going to major in a science, you should (eventually) take Math 115. If you are going to major in business, you should (eventually) take Math 109 (although Math 115 is also acceptable). Economics majors should consider Math 115 if they plan to go on to graduate school.Do Harvard students use calculators? ›
Calculators are routinely used in math class, and every student is required to have one.Why do colleges not allow graphing calculators? ›
One major concern is cheating. People can enter information into their calculators that may give them an unfair advantage on the exam, in essence using the calculator as a "cheat sheet". Having a professor verify that a couple hundred students don't have any information stored in their calculators isn't feasible.Are TI-84 allowed on SAT? ›
Yes, you can absolutely use a TI-84 calculator on the SAT – in fact, its one of the SAT calculators that we recommend.What is the easiest graphing calculator to use? ›
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus – Best Overall
This is a high-resolution CE color graphing calculator with a perfect size and display to make your life easier. It comes with one Lithium metal battery that powers a high resolution and a sleek backlit display for you to get clear readings.
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS Color Graphing Calculator. The Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS Color Graphing Calculator is an exceptional set of tools for performing calculus computations.When was the TI-Nspire CX released? ›
In 2011, Texas Instruments released the CX line of their TI-Nspire calculators which effectively replaced the previous generation. The updates included improvements to the original's keyboard layout, an addition of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 3D graphing capabilities and reduced form factor.Which calculator has the most functions? ›
There is a faster processor and double the memory size of the classic FX-ES Plus series. There are 522 functions, allowing you to work through large spreadsheets and matrix calculations.
CAS stands for "Computer Algebra System" and it is software that allows the manipulation of mathematical expressions in symbolic form. The principal difference between a calculator with CAS and one without CAS is the ability to deal with equations symbolically rather than numerically.What is the difference between TI Nspire CAS and CAS CX? ›
Both work the same the only difference is the non-CX handheld cannot use the newer 'yellow hat' wifi module… the newer CX can use both the 'yellow hat' and the older cradle.Is the TI-84 Plus outdated? ›
Texas Instrument's best-selling graphing calculator, the TI-84, is a woefully outdated piece of technology. Since its debut in 2004, its specs and components have remained virtually unchanged.Which is better TI-84 or TI-84 Plus CE? ›
When comparing the TI-84 Plus vs. the TI-84 Plus CE the most obvious difference is the color display of the CE. It's not the only difference, though. The CE is smaller and has a better, rechargeable battery, and has continued to get software updates.Why is TI-84 so popular? ›
Usability. One of the main reasons that the TI-84 Plus is so popular is because of its usability. All of the menus and other user interface systems on this calculator are simple and intuitive. Another reason it will be so easy to pick up on how to use this calculator is because of its popularity.Is a TI-Nspire CX a scientific calculator? ›
Science. All on one graphing calculator. The TI-Nspire™ CX handheld is a robust, hands-on learning tool that satisfies math and science curriculum needs from middle school through college.Is the TI-Nspire CX a programmable calculator? ›
TI-Nspire CX is a graphing calculator that is capable of plotting graphs, solving simultaneous equations, and performing other tasks with variables. TI-Nspire CX are also programmable, allowing the user to create customized programs, typically for scientific/engineering and education applications.Is TI-Nspire allowed on tests? ›
The graphic below shows the use of TI-Nspire CX calculators on standardized tests. Note that the TiNspire CX can be used on ALL standardized tests including SAT, ACT and AP. However,the TiNspire CX CAS may not be used on the ACT exam.What is the best calculator in the world? ›
- 1 Helect Desktop Calculator – Best Overall.
- 2 ONXE Desktop Calculator – Best Features.
- 3 Catiga Desktop Calculator – Best Style.
- 4 Sharp El-1501 Desktop Calculator – Innovative Style.
- 5 Casio MS-80B Desktop Calculator – Most Affordable.
All scientific calculators are allowed on the PSAT.
When properly maintained and under normal usage, TI Rechargeable batteries are expected to last about 3 years.Is the TI-84 Plus CE discontinued? ›
In the North American market, the TI-84 Plus CE Python replaced the existing TI-84 Plus CE in 2021.Do colleges prefer calculus or statistics? ›
But for many other students, calculus isn't the math course that will most help them—the right course often is statistics. But most admissions counselors have favored calculus (in many cases informally), the report says, and that hurts students.Which math class is the most useful? ›
Calculus provides the framework that makes a wide variety of modeling systems possible. Calculus has applications across a wide variety of technical and scientific fields. Calculus is used by: all types of engineers.What math does Harvard require? ›
Examples include rigorous and relevant courses in computer science, statistics and its subfields, mathematical modeling, calculus, and other advanced math subjects. Students' math records are viewed holistically, and no specific course is required. Specifically, calculus is not a requirement for admission to Harvard.What scale does Harvard use? ›
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences averages its letter grades with a 4-point scale: A = 4.00, A- = 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B = 3.00, B- = 2.67, C+ = 2.33, C = 2.00, C- = 1.67, D+ = 1.33, D = 1.00, D- = 0.67. E, ABS, UNS, EXLD = 0.What system does Harvard use? ›
Canvas | Harvard University Information Technology.What calculators are banned in college? ›
- Calculators that have a computer-style (QWERTY) keypad or stylus.
- Any laptops, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, etc.
Since then, graphing calculators have become a common – and controversial – tool for learning mathematics. These devices can do all of the calculations of a scientific calculator, plus graph equations, make function tables and solve equations. Many have the ability to do statistical analysis and even some calculus.What is the disadvantage of graphing calculator? ›
While the cost of a simple calculator is not that high, calculators like the graphing calculator is of high cost. In addition to that, these calculators need batteries to operate which is again a recurring cost.
If you forget your calculator, you'll have to do the SAT without it. Testing centers don't carry extra equipment for students: there are no calculators they can loan you and no extra batteries if your calculator dies mid-test. With that in mind, you must remember your calculator on the day of your test.Do you actually need a graphing calculator for SAT? ›
A scientific calculator will get you through the test. However, we exclusively recommend graphing calculators for the SAT because of the visuals they provide (you can see the graphs you're plugging in) and their ease of use.What graphing calculator is best for SAT? ›
- TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator. TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator. ...
- TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator. ...
- TI-Nspire CX CAS. ...
- Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator. ...
- Casio Prizm FX-CG50 Graphing Calculator. ...
- TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator. ...
- Casio fx-115ES PLUS. ...
- Casio fx-9860GII.
The TI-84 Plus CE basically offers more memory for the optional programs that can be downloaded free online from Texas Instruments (instructions provided in the manual when purchased), offers color for various graphing, and has a rechargeable lithium battery that can also be replaced if needed (TI-84 Plus doesn't have) ...How old is TI-84 Plus CE? ›
The TI-84 Plus CE was publicly previewed by TI Education in January 2015 and released in 2015.What is the difference between CE and CA on calculator? ›
The CE (clear entry) button clears the most recent entry while the C (clear) button will clear all input to the calculator. So, if you are typing a long computation and make a mistake, press the CE button as it will delete just the last digit.Why does the TI-84 Plus cost so much? ›
Limited Market Competition. Graphing calculators are expensive because of limited competition in the market. Only a few brands, such as Texas Instruments, Casio, and HP, dominate the market, giving them the power to charge premium prices.Are graphing calculators better than scientific calculators? ›
Scientific Calculators can do statistical calculations and regressions but are limited. Graphing calculators can do more advanced statistical calculations as well as the basic ones and graph the statistical plots as well.What is TI-84 Plus CE used for? ›
The TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator comes with a USB cable, plenty of storage and operating memory. It also comes pre-loaded with software applications (Apps) to help you perform pre-algebra, calculus, biology, chemistry, and physics calculations.When was the TI Nspire CX released? ›
In 2011, Texas Instruments released the CX line of their TI-Nspire calculators which effectively replaced the previous generation. The updates included improvements to the original's keyboard layout, an addition of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 3D graphing capabilities and reduced form factor.
CE, which is seen in some calculators stands for Clear Entry which erases the last entry you have keyed in.